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Thread: Changing relationship. Is he an alcoholic?

  1. #1
    Sr. Member Eleanor's Avatar
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    Changing relationship. Is he an alcoholic?

    So my boyfriend and I have been together now for almost 3,5 years. As is with every relationship the butterflies disappear after a while and what's left is the real picture of the person in front of you. I love him. No doubt about that. However there are some things that irritate me about him.

    One biggie is the fact that he drinks beer everyday. He's a big fan of beer. He even brews his own. He's very passionate about it.
    He drinks about 1 or 2 beers a night, more during weekends. That means he has alcohol in his body 24/7 and I don't like that at all. I told him I think it's too much, but he laughs about it and then either ignores me or changes the subject. I wouldn't call him an alcoholic in his face, but I do know he's sensitive to addiction. That's because his face is glued to his phone most hours of the day. He can't let it go. But that's another story (or not).

    Back to the beer, I know drinking alcohol is somewhat accepted in western culture, so to those standards I'm probably overreacting. Of course with the beer drinking comes another problem: the beer belly. He didn't have one 3,5 years ago. Now he's about 7 months pregnant... and it's not sexy.

    The purpose of this post is
    1. to get this out of my mind. Writing it down somewhere always helps.
    And 2. to ask about your thoughts on this. What would you do/ say if he were your partner? Would you consider someone who drinks that much an alcoholic or having a drinking problem? Or am I really overreacting? How could I motivate him to live healthier?

    Any of your thoughts on this are welcome.
    Wherever you are in life is exactly where you need to be right now.

  2. #2

    Re: Changing relationship. Is he an alcoholic?

    Beer doesnít cause beer bellies. Calories and genetics do. Simple solution for that one is to burn more calories. There are more ways to accomplish that than there are to avoid it. Iíd be careful opening the beauty door, though...itís hard to close and cuts both ways.

    As for the issue of beer proper, you can only tell him that it bothers you. Communicate effectively. Make sure he knows that it bothers you enough to ask other people for help on the issue, even.

    Talk talk talk, get it all out. With him. Donít allow yourself to be ignored.

    Idk if that will help, but itís been my go to for twenty years. Working well thus far, through a lot of issues.
    Last edited by Rhythm; 07 Aug 2019 at 11:59.

  3. #3
    Bronze Member Bartmanhomer's Avatar
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    Re: Changing relationship. Is he an alcoholic?

    Well, tell him how you feel about it.

  4. #4

    Re: Changing relationship. Is he an alcoholic?

    I would probably avoid getting on him about the beer belly. Rhythm is right that it is the kind of line that you can't uncross. It is also true that beer adds calories to the daily total, so it probably contributes. Really, the only thing you can do with this is honestly ask yourself if this is a deal breaker for you. And also, how much do you expect him to ignore on your own looks front. Everyone ages and changes, so there has to be some give there, but if you absolutely lose interest in him, then you are both better off moving on.

    I can't tell you if he is an alcoholic. The fact that you are worried is a sign that maybe he is. I know plenty of people who would consider that alcohol intake completely normal, and plenty who would consider it borderline. You have already broached it with him, and he has dismissed your concerns. I don't know if he was respectful or condescending or angry, but I would factor that into my thoughts if I were you. Mostly, I don't think that you are going to change him, or that you are at all responsible for changing him. What you need to do is decide if you can be happy with the life you have with him. Does drinking take precedence over other things in your lives? Do you have to always tailor your social time, your personal time around the drinking? Is drinking and driving an issue-for instance, do you always have to drive, stay sober, be the responsible one because he can't or wont? Does he drive when he shouldn't? Do you have to apologize or make excuses for him? Or is your life with him good, but you worry because of attitudes about alcohol you brought from your past? Also, are you always second to the phone? Leashed to the phone seems like almost everyone these days, but it can be problem. I'm not asking for the answers to these questions; I'm just suggesting that you think about them.

    Also, if I may presume,,. I have been with the same person for 25 years now. In my experience, the butterflies come, and then they go, and then they come again. I can wonder if we've worn things out and might want to move on, and then pow! That smile, and the butterflies again. People say that marriage/relationships are work, and they are. But they are not so much work that you are unhappy all the time, or stressed all of the time or give up the basic things that you need to be yourself. Sometimes relationships are the most stressful thing, but most of the time they should be the place in your life you go for peace and support. Over time, is he truly your source of comfort and support or is he consistently the cause of upset and bad feelings?

    You can suggest maybe changes in the foods you eat together, or getting outside for activities that are fun and burn calories. He may go for it. Maybe he will join you if you start doing those things and make an effort to include him. But don't count on it working, don't count on changing another person. We all have to change ourselves.

  5. #5
    Nihilistic Goddess Medusa's Avatar
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    Re: Changing relationship. Is he an alcoholic?

    Can he go without drinking? If not, that's an alcoholic. They come in shades of if I drink I'm gonna break a wall. All the way to if I drink I'm just gonna sit here quietly minding my own business. It's the need to drink and the inability to not that is gonna matter in the end.

    imo
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  6. #6
    Sr. Member Eleanor's Avatar
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    Re: Changing relationship. Is he an alcoholic?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rhythm View Post
    ...Communicate effectively. Make sure he knows that it bothers you enough to ask other people for help on the issue, even.

    Talk talk talk, get it all out. With him. Don’t allow yourself to be ignored.
    I must say that we do talk a lot, but we're both avoiding conflicts. So the elephant in the room is mostly ignored. I do try to poke him every now and then on the things that bother me. Most of the time he goes silent and stares at his phone again. Maybe next time I'll just keep talking until he gets angry or something. I'd rather have a good fight then things to go silent.

    I know there must be things about me that are bothering him too, but he's not saying anything.

    Quote Originally Posted by Prickly Pear View Post
    Really, the only thing you can do with this is honestly ask yourself if this is a deal breaker for you. And also, how much do you expect him to ignore on your own looks front. Everyone ages and changes, so there has to be some give there, but if you absolutely lose interest in him, then you are both better off moving on.

    ... Mostly, I don't think that you are going to change him, or that you are at all responsible for changing him. What you need to do is decide if you can be happy with the life you have with him....

    You can suggest maybe changes in the foods you eat together, or getting outside for activities that are fun and burn calories. He may go for it. Maybe he will join you if you start doing those things and make an effort to include him. But don't count on it working, don't count on changing another person. We all have to change ourselves.
    Thanks for the questions. I'll think about them. The drinking isn't that big a problem that he's drinking and driving. If he would have done that, I would have been long gone. He doesn't get drunk very often. He can go without beer some days when he forgets to get beer from the store. He'll just drink water. No problem.

    I know I'm not going to be able to change him. He's never lived the healthiest of lifestyles so I should have known his body would change with time. In general though, I am happy with him. His health, or rather his laziness to do something about it bothers me a lot every now and then.

    As for my looks, I'm going to grow old, but not fat. I won't let that happen. I think it's lazy of him to not work on his body. Also a little unfair I guess, because he still has a girlfriend who looks good, works out and eats healthy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Medusa View Post
    Can he go without drinking? If not, that's an alcoholic. They come in shades of if I drink I'm gonna break a wall. All the way to if I drink I'm just gonna sit here quietly minding my own business. It's the need to drink and the inability to not that is gonna matter in the end.

    imo
    He can go without drinking, so that means he's not alcoholic. He does have a smartphone addiction though. He's on Reddit for hours a day and he watches streamers who play slot games... out of all the things you could watch. I don't know what I'm going to do about that except talking. Maybe introduce screenless Sundays or something. See how that works out.

    Thanks everyone for your responses. I guess I'm going to poke the bear at some point or try to motivate him to live healthier. Do pilates in front of him. Buy a large mirror that might be confronting.
    Our relationship will either break or not. I'll see how it goes.
    Wherever you are in life is exactly where you need to be right now.

  7. #7
    Nihilistic Goddess Medusa's Avatar
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    Re: Changing relationship. Is he an alcoholic?

    I can't throw stones. I'm a reddit addict.

    so many kity kats!
    Satan is my spirit animal

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    Sr. Member Eleanor's Avatar
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    Re: Changing relationship. Is he an alcoholic?

    Quote Originally Posted by Medusa View Post
    I can't throw stones. I'm a reddit addict.

    so many kity kats!
    Hahaha, I do get it :P The cuteness is too strong!
    Wherever you are in life is exactly where you need to be right now.

  9. #9

    Re: Changing relationship. Is he an alcoholic?

    If he got prettier, but kept drinking beer, would you still be bothered? Donít take this as a judge mental line of questioning. Disabuse yourself of any social conditioning or personal ideas about who you are ir who you should be.

    Itís a question of pure desire, and what we want ( or conversely what we find dissatisfying) evades all normative judgement. Itís important to understand ourselves at a base level or we will consistently fail to communicate an accurate picture of what we want when communicating with our soís. Consider the futility of arguing over beer and screentime if what you truly desire is beauty and attention.

    - and you should have what you desire...particularly in long term relationships. It doesnít work any other way, in my experience...even if we might think of ourselves (or be taught to think of ourselves) as petty. My earlier advice to avoid opening the beauty can of worms us only valuable or relevant if that really isnít your primary dissatisfaction or among your deepest concerns. Still, being ready to hear unattractive things about yourself is a necessity of that convo, though.

    My wife isnít the same girl I met years ago....and Iím certainly not the better for wear and tear myself...but if either of us ceased to find the other attractive, we couldnít be more than friends. Iím sure weíd both feel terrible about it, but itís just a practical statement of fact between us.
    Last edited by Rhythm; 08 Aug 2019 at 03:29.

  10. #10
    Sr. Member Eleanor's Avatar
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    Re: Changing relationship. Is he an alcoholic?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rhythm View Post
    If he got prettier, but kept drinking beer, would you still be bothered? Don’t take this as a judge mental line of questioning. Disabuse yourself of any social conditioning or personal ideas about who you are ir who you should be.

    It’s a question of pure desire, and what we want ( or conversely what we find dissatisfying) evades all normative judgement. It’s important to understand ourselves at a base level or we will consistently fail to communicate an accurate picture of what we want when communicating with our so’s. Consider the futility of arguing over beer and screentime if what you truly desire is beauty and attention.

    - and you should have what you desire...particularly in long term relationships. It doesn’t work any other way, in my experience...even if we might think of ourselves (or be taught to think of ourselves) as petty. My earlier advice to avoid opening the beauty can of worms us only valuable or relevant if that really isn’t your primary dissatisfaction or among your deepest concerns. Still, being ready to hear unattractive things about yourself is a necessity of that convo, though.

    My wife isn’t the same girl I met years ago....and I’m certainly not the better for wear and tear myself...but if either of us ceased to find the other attractive, we couldn’t be more than friends. I’m sure we’d both feel terrible about it, but it’s just a practical statement of fact between us.
    I admire you people who have been together for so long. This is the longest relationship I've been in. Maybe I'm just picky.

    Beauty is important to me as far as age will allow it. I don't care when he gets wrinkles or when his hair turns gray because of age. Age is natural and I think that's beautiful too. Physical fitness will decrease as well with age, but we're both in our early 30s! So there's really no need for the belly imo. I'm going to stay fit for as long as I can and I'd like him to do the same. So if he got fitter but kept drinking, I guess I wouldn't mind, but there is a correlation here between his drinking, combined with the late night snacks and no exercise. He doesn't like the belly either, but apparently not enough to start working out.

    As for the attention, I'd like to get more. He's mostly sitting behind his computer or on his phone when he's at home. I'm always the one who has to suggest we go for a walk or do something else together. This used to be different as well at the start of our relationship. I know things change after a while, but

    This could go into a few different directions. Either he sees the light and starts working out, getting back in his old shape. Or I sort of give up along the way and stop caring about it. Or I don't and I'm afraid that beauty can of worms will be opened at that point no matter what happens next. Anyway, there's some work to be done from both our sides. Whatever happens between us in the future I know it will be for the best. A relationship either works or it doesn't.
    Wherever you are in life is exactly where you need to be right now.

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